San Antonio Medical Malpractice Lawyer
From our general doctors and dentists to specialists to those that provide us with pharmaceuticals, we place our health and wellbeing in the hands of various medical professionals regularly. The responsibilities that these medical professionals have regarding their patients are extremely important, and it is essential that those in the medical community observe the strictest standards of care in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients. Unfortunately, the reality is that many doctors do not take the appropriate steps needed to prevent their patients from facing serious injuries, illnesses, or even death. Medical malpractice laws are in place in order to ensure that, in these types of situations, patients have a chance to pursue the compensation they need to deal with the effects of a doctor’s mistakes. Our legal team at the Chris Mayo Law Firm knows how much of an impact medical malpractice can have on a San Antonio resident’s life, and we work tirelessly to get malpractice victims the justice they deserve.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Unfortunately, the errors and negligence of medical professionals in a variety of fields can cause extreme harm to unsuspecting patients. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Delayed Treatment
- Improper Treatment
- Surgical Errors
- Emergency Room Errors
- Pharmaceutical Errors
- Birth Injuries
- Dental Malpractice
- Hospital Negligence
These and other forms of medical malpractice cannot and should not be tolerated. When medical professionals are negligent in these or other manners, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The Chris Mayo Law Firm understands how a serious injury can put your life on hold, so we are dedicated to getting you information and answering your questions as quickly as possible. Our skilled team has put together the following collection of frequently asked questions and answers. If your question is not listed here or if you would like to speak with a member of our legal staff, please contact our San Antonio medical malpractice attorneys at (210) 999-9999.
When medical malpractice occurs, is the physician or the hospital liable for any personal injury or damages that I may seek?
If the physician is an employee of a hospital, the hospital will typically be held responsible if that physician hurts a patient by acting incompetently. Also, nurses, medical technicians, and support staff are hospital employees, so they can be liable for damages as well. However, if a physician is not an employee of the hospital, the hospital may not be liable for the doctor’s mistakes. It is best to seek legal advice regarding finding out whether the physician or hospital is liable because this is one of the more difficult aspects of the process to receiving compensation.
How much can I receive from a medical malpractice suit?
As these cases are highly specific, this can be a difficult question to answer. There are a number of damages you can seek compensation for, which include compensation for the price of the failed procedure as well as future procedures needed to fix new problems. There are a few non-economic damages for which you could seek monetary return, such as pain and suffering, but it’s difficult to calculate these without the help of an attorney.
Why do I even need an attorney?
Hospital staff and doctors are often backed by their own teams of lawyers who work full-time or on retainer for the facility. Hospitals often operate like businesses and will work to protect themselves first in a case of medical malpractice. You need a tough, dedicated attorney working for you to help you get the compensation you deserve. Not only with a Chris Mayo Law Firm attorney help you with negotiations or even potential courtroom battles, they’ll also help you with the smaller burdens of the position like filling out paperwork or keeping track of important dates and deadlines. It is possible for an injured party to represent themselves, but it’s a difficult uphill battle, and represented individuals tend to recover three times more in compensation than their non-represented counterparts, even in cases of victory.
U.S. Medical Error – Statistics
A study reported by John Hopkins Medicine suggests that medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Also, more physicians are advocating for changes in how deaths are reported to better reflect reality. There are now three key facts regarding medical error:
- 10 percent of all U.S. deaths are now due to medical error
- Medical error now takes the third position for highest cause of death
- In many cases of medical-related death, the error goes unknown
According to Johns Hopkins patient safety experts, an analysis of medical death rates was done over an 8-year period. Data shows that in the United States on a yearly basis, more than 250,000 deaths can be attributed to medical error. This data was published May 3, 2016, in The BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal), and exceeds the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) third leading cause of death, which is respiratory diseases. On a yearly basis, respiratory diseases kill close to 150,000 people.
The Johns Hopkins team further states that the CDC’s method of obtaining national health statistics doesn’t point out medical errors separately on death certificates. Due to this problem, the John Hopkins researchers are petitioning for revised criteria for identifying deaths on death certificates.
Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., a leader in health reform who works at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a professor of surgery, says “incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven’t been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics.”
In another quote, he continues: “the medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used.”
Makary pointed out that in 1949, the United States adopted an international form that utilized International Classification of Diseases (ICD) billing codes to show causes of death. Makary believes, “At that time, it was under-recognized that diagnostic errors, medical mistakes, and the absence of safety nets could result in someone’s death, and because of that, medical errors were unintentionally excluded from national health statistics.” Since then, researchers say that national mortality statistics have been arranged using billing codes. These codes do not have a method by which incidence rates of mortality can be shown, as they relate to negligent medical care.
The study further shows that researchers looked at four different studies that reviewed medical death rate data from 2000 to 2008, including one by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. By utilizing hospital admission rates from 2013, they concluded that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, 251,454 deaths were the result of medical error. This research demonstrates that 9.5 percent of all deaths each year in the United States can be attributed to medical error.
The CDC reported that for 2013, the top three causes of death in the U.S. were heart disease (611,105 deaths), cancer (584,881 deaths), and chronic respiratory disease (149,205 deaths). This newest calculation for medical errors puts this cause of death behind cancer.
Makary further pointed out that “top-ranked causes of death as reported by the CDC inform our country’s research funding and public health priorities”. Due to this, Makary reported that cancer and heart disease get a lot of funding and public attention. Since the medical errors issue is not getting the attention it deserves, it is not receiving the funding that is really needed now.
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Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney in San Antonio
If you have suffered harm or illness as a result of medical malpractice, our lawyers at the Chris Mayo Law Firm believe you may deserve compensation to help deal with the consequences. Talk with us about pursuing such compensation and getting the closure you need by calling (210) 999-9999 today.